Housebuilding Giants Line Up Kings Dock Stake

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill Gleeson Business Editor

HOUSEBUILDERS Barratt Developments and Westbury are considering investing in the Kings Dock scheme that includes a new home for Everton Football Club.

The housebuilders are talking to Everton and its public sector partners about constructing residential and office developments next door to what is planned to be a combined football stadium for Everton and a concert arena.

The news that the pair of housebuilders are in talks represents a big boost to Everton's ambitions to see their new home become a reality.

Private sector involvement in the residential and commercial side of the pounds 310m Kings Dock scheme is crucial to the funding of the whole project. Part of the profits from the sale of completed residential and commercial developments are to be used to subsidise the cost of constructing the stadium and arena. In total, Everton and its partners are looking for up to pounds 40m of subsidy from the housebuilders.

Tina Smith, managing director of Westbury Homes in the North West, said: "We can confirm that Westbury has received an approach about the Kings Dock.

It would appear to be an exciting opportunity, but we will be undertaking a detailed evaluation before agreeing to go ahed with the development."

Late last year the Kings Dock plans suffered a setback when housebuilder Countryside Properties pulled out of the scheme saying it suffered from too many uncertainties.

The news of the latest interest from housebuilders comes on the day it emerged that a new split for the ownership of the completed stadium had been agreed.

Under the new arrangements the football club and the public sector are each to get a 50:50 share in the completed stadium and arena. …